Page 3, 13th August 1937

13th August 1937
Page 3
Page 3, 13th August 1937 — SHELVING 1 1 11E

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Locations: the Hague, Brussels


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Keywords: Belgium, Politics


From Our Belgian Correspondent

The Socialist Foreign Minister of Belgium, M. Spaak. has exerted consummate skill in attempting to shelve the matter of the murder by the Reds in Spain of Baron Jacques de Borchgrave, a Belgian diplomatic attache in the Madrid Embassy, early this year.

M. Spaak's position is delicate. Much as he may desire to please his new-found friends in the higher circles of political and social life, the now moderate Socialist but ex-revolutionary leader dare not displease his party or fall out of sympathy with his Red friends in Spain.

By diplomatic manoeuvring he succeeded in having the Borchgrave matter deferred to the Hague Tribunal. The hope was that it might lapse into oblivion.

But the ardent Catholic Nation Beige is determined that it shall not lapse. For the past two months it has not ceased bluntly to put the one question to Socialist Minister Spaak : " How is the ' Affaire de Borchgrave proceeding?"

Valencia Holds Its Peace

A non-committal reply was officially made that M. Spaak had done all there was to be done. This was that a Memorandum had been handed by Belgium to the International Court of the Hague, where the procedure was following the usual course. But that the Valencia Government had so far refrained from presenting its Memorandum. The limit of time for this expired in June.

June ended eight weeks ago, now insists the Nation Beige. and the official silence has become total. Accordingly it renews its onslaught, asking once again : " How is the affaire proceeding?"

" Was the Spanish memorandum handed in at the Hague in due time? Yes or No. If ' Yes,' what has the International Court decided? If ' No,' judgment goes against our adversary by default. What satisfaction, then, is to be given to Belgium for a murder so exceptionally execrable?"

Spaak's Clenched Fist

Expressing the hope that the Belgian Government will enlighten the public,. it goes on: " Our hope would be greater if we had not to deal with our Foreign Minister, whose connection with that sect, to which the assassins of Fuencarral belong, has not been broken off. If we had not to deal with our Foreign Minister, who was recently seen—according to the Socialist daily official organ Le Peuple—to raise his clenched fist in public to manifest sentiments serving interests other than the interests of the Belgian State. if we had not to deal with our Foreign Minister, who did not protest when the Communist members in Parliament odiously insulted a young Belgian who died in his country's service."

No later than last Monday the Communist Belgian daily La Voix du Peuple congratulated their " Frente Popular " friends whose hands are stained with Baron Jacques de Borchgrave's blood, when they called him " a vile spy."

" It is astounding," continues the Nation Beige, "that the only tribute tendered to the memory of this courageous Embassy attaché should be Communist insults whilst his murderers parade in triumph in a country with which we have not broken off diplomatic relations.

" National dignity and elementary equity must he satisfied concerning this most repugnant outrage to international intercourse," concludes the Brussels Catholic paper, " or must we wait till Spain be delivered for us to receive justice from Franco?"

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